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Egypt unrest: Day 14 as it happened

  • Protesters demanding the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak are continuing to occupy Cairo's Tahrir Square, blocking off a large area in the centre of the capital.
  • In other areas traffic is once again clogging the streets as people return to work. But schools and the stock exchange remain closed.
  • On Sunday, opposition groups took part in talks with the government. Afterwards, the Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, said no substantive concessions had been offered.
  • Correspondents in Cairo say the protesters are in no mood to compromise. They want President Mubarak to leave office now and for parliament to be dissolved.
  • Live page reporters: David Gritten and Aidan Lewis.
  • All times in GMT.

1815That draws to a close today's live coverage of events in Egypt, where some of the chaos of the last two weeks has subsided. But as we've seen, life is far from back to normal. And the protesters camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square are promising not to go home until they see President Hosni Mubarak driven from office.

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1813US Republican Congressman Ron Paul says on his blog: "We see now the folly of our interventionist foreign policy: not only has that stability fallen to pieces with the current unrest, but the years of propping up the corrupt regime in Egypt has led the people to increase their resentment of both America and Israel! We are both worse off for decades of intervention into Egypt's internal affairs. I wish I could say that we have learned our lesson and will no longer attempt to purchase - or rent - friends in the Middle East, but I am afraid that is being too optimistic."

1807Have a look at this story we've just published, looking at what commentators in the region make of the unrest in Egypt.

1804More from Naguib Sawiris. He told the BBC that protesters should have faith in Vice-President Suleiman's promises and in a middle ground. He praised protesters as the new power in Egypt but urged them to form a leadership that could negotiate. He also warned them to beware of any unforeseen dangers including chaos, the emergence of religious movements, and moves by the army.

1802Naguib Sawiris has called on protesters to allow President Mubarak to stay until a clear mechanism for transition is in place. Mr Sawiris is the businessman who is one of a group of "wise men" negotiating with the government. Speaking to the BBC's Lyse Doucet, Mr Sawiris said Mr Mubarak had lost his legitimacy but a big segment of the country did not want to see the president - a war hero - humiliated.


1756The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports from Cairo: "Egypt now finds itself in a curious position where both the government's depiction of returning normality and the protestors vision of unstoppable change both have a degree of validity. It's not clear which will prevail or when."

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1738Human Rights Watch researcher Dan Williams, writing on the Daily Beast, talks about the time he spent in military detention in Cairo: "Around midnight we were led away from the landing, with the cuffs still on. On the market street below, a crowd had gathered. This was especially frightening. From the mob, we could hear insults but also chants of 'Egypt! Egypt!' Some made throat-slitting gestures."

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1734 Laila Attalla, in Alexandria, tweets: "In alex today: they went to the places where there r damages and painted walls, the rest of the place no garbage..!!! #jan25, #egypt"

1727US state department spokesman PJ Crowley tells the BBC that it's up to the Egyptian people to decide their own future. "We are offering advice based on our partnership and friendship with Egypt but people tend to overstate how much influence we have there," he says.

1723US President Barack Obama welcomes talks between the Egyptian government and opposition groups. "Obviously, Egypt has to negotiate a path and they're making progress."


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1721 More from Sharif Kouddous in Tahrir Square: "People here say they are not represented by any backroom negotiations. They want Mubarak out & say the mechanism 2 move forward can be found."


1719Issandr El Amrani, author of the Arabist blog, has compiled an updated table showing the hierarchy of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party. The NDP's entire leadership resigned on Saturday.


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1717 Sharif Kouddous tweets from Tahrir Square: "One man giving haircuts under a sign: 'Revolution Salon. Free for All' awesome.#Tahrir #Egypt"

1708Egypt's authorities, clearly worried about the effect of the unrest on the country's huge tourism industry, are saying the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh is safe. The BBC's Duncan Crawford, in Sharm el-Sheikh, says it is very quiet there.

1702More from Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah: He says changes in Egypt can transform the Middle East by forcing out a regime that has kept peace with Israel. "Your movement will entirely change the face of our region for the interest of its own people," he tells Egyptians.

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1646 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Activists Tahrir Sq now denying reports Wael @Ghonem released. Waiting for new details. #Jan25 #egypt"


1639The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, says he yearns to be in Cairo, to join the anti-Mubarak protests: "As God is my witness, I yearn to be among you, to give my blood and soul, as any Egyptian youth would, to this noble cause," AFP news agency reports him telling a rally.

1632The Muslim Brotherhood says it will reconsider continuing talks with the government if calls for President Hosni Mubarak and other demands are not met, Reuters reports. A spokesman for the opposition group said some demands had been met but the principal one - that Mr Mubarak leave - had not been.


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1627Sherif, who lives by Tahrir Square, tells the BBC: "It's been two weeks since the protests started, so people are tired. The euphoria of the revolt has died down and people want to go back to daily life... The number of people in the square is dwindling, although it's still a significant number. It means that the protest is weakening, but then so is the state."


1624Egyptian blogger Amr Gharbeia tells the BBC: "I hope the internet will continue to play a complementary role in activism. At the moment we physically exist in downtown Cairo and I hope that when we have finished this sit-in, we will have won the right to organise ourselves outside the internet." For more from Amr and other internet activists, have a look at this story on the bloggers in Tahrir Square that we've just published.

1622Latest on Google executive Wael Ghonim. Reuters reports that the US state department has been told that Mr Ghonim has been freed.

1620Here's a full quote from David Cameron: "We have spent billions of pounds of euros, of tax-payers' money in Egypt and neighbouring countries with carefully-crafted association agreements and action plans. We've offered funds, access to our markets and other assistance, in exchange for progress on the rule of law, democracy and human rights - but in Egypt, there has been little or no progress on torture, the judiciary, democracy or ending a state of emergency that has actually lasted for 30 years."

1617British Prime Minister David Cameron says it's time for Europe to take a more "hard-headed" approach over Egypt, and other countries in the region where it spends money on democracy promotion.

1610The BBC's Lyse Doucet says there are some reports that the Google executive Wael Ghonim, who is believed to have been released (see 1535, 1515 and 1459 entries) is heading for Tahrir Square.

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1603Ahmed Morsi from Alexandria, Egypt, writes: "I back the entering of Muslim Brotherhood in any opposition alliance negotiating the transition in Egypt. Any democratic regime must be representative of all the political factions in Egypt. The Muslim brotherhood is not a violent movement as the Egyptian government tries to portray it. They have been part of the 2005 secular Parliament and they were much more democratic than Mubarak's party. They also repeated it in many occasions, they don't seek the power. Their ideal is Turkey which is a secular state. Finally, the Egyptian people who made this revolt were very diverse, they are men, women, rich, poor, Christians and Muslims, all of them demanding freedom and human rights, so I really don't see how they would back a theocratic Egypt. "

1600Former housing minister Ahmed el-Maghrabi is also reported to have appeared before prosecutors. He's accused of wasting public money and seizing state land, according to state news agency Mena.

1552The former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, has appeared before military prosecutors and could face charges of causing a breakdown in public order, Reuters reports.

1535 Al-Jazeera journalist Dima Khatib tweets: "Many of you are saying: until I read a tweet from @Ghonim I won't believe he is free. People have ZERO trust in the REGIME! #jan25 #egypt"
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1532Germany suspends arms exports to Egypt, citing human rights concerns. "In view of the current situation in Egypt... the processing of these applications is now suspended," the economy ministry is quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying. Germany sold 22m euros ($30m) of armaments to Egypt in 2010.

1526 Journalist Sharif Kouddous in Cairo tweets: "Tent city in middle of Tahrir is growing, getting more elaborate with signs, pathways."
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1524The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Cairo says: "Egypt is operating a bizarre system of parallel realities as Hosni Mubarak's re-shuffled government gets down to work and the protesters calling for his removal remain at their posts in Tahrir Square. The two competing visions of how Egypt should cope with the fallout from the recent weeks of demonstration clashed briefly in the square when government workers attempted to re-open an official building and demonstrators linked arms to stop them. The government's message is that the changed administration is now restoring normality to daily life, but many ordinary Egyptians are worried that prices of staple goods like bread have risen sharply and show no signs of coming back down. The stock market remains suspended amidst continuing anxiety over how international investors will react to the continuing unrest."

1522During the new Egyptian cabinet's first meeting on Monday, ministers observed a moment of silence for those who had been killed in the unrest since 25 January, the state-run Mena news agency reports. The United Nations says 300 lives may have been lost so far.

1515Al-Arabiya TV is now reporting that Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released by the Egyptian authorities.

1459State television has announced that the family of the detained Google marketing chief, Wael Ghonim, "has been notified that he will be released this evening", according to the Associated Press. Before his family lost contact with him on 28 January, Mr Ghonim posted several comments about the unrest on his Twitter page. The Wall Street Journal reports that he played a prominent role in the online activism which sparked the mass protests.

1453A judge investigating an explosion near a gas pipeline terminal in Egypt's northern Sinai peninsula on Saturday says it was caused by bomb planted by four masked men. Egypt's natural gas company initially blamed the blast on a gas leak. Earlier on Monday, rocket-propelled grenades were fired at a police barracks in the Sinai town of Rafah, injuring a policeman.

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1446Marwa, from Cairo, writes: "My biggest fear during these tumultuous times is the Muslim Brotherhood having a say in my daily life. Politics should be left to the politicians. Islam has no place in politics as there is no one pure enough to implement it."

1442Kemal Helbawy, a senior member of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood based in London, tells the BBC that the talks between the opposition and the government were a waste of time. "The only result was to form a committee to look into constitutional amendments and this is nothing to do with the requirements of the protesters and the revolutionary forces," he says. "It has nothing to do with the blood of 300 people who were killed or 5,000 people who were injured. It has nothing to do with corruption and dictatorship and underdevelopment. There should be practical steps against corruption, against dictatorship, against Mubarak himself."

1439 Journalist Ian Lee tweets: "I saw more traffic police around Cairo today. They don't have the same swagger that they had before the revolt. #jan25 #egypt"
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1435Nato's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warns that the unrest in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia could "have a negative impact on [their] economies, which might lead to illegal immigration in Europe". "So of course indirectly there may be a negative impact on Europe caused by the evolving situation in North Africa and the Middle East, but I do not consider the situation as a direct threat to Nato," he tells a news conference in Brussels.

1426 Writing in Foreign Affairs Joshua Stacher of Kent State University says there is "no doubt that the post-Mubarak era is afoot, but it is not necessarily a democratic one". "The Egyptian military leaders that are governing the country seem content to leave Mubarak in his place so [Vice-President Omar] Suleiman can act as the sitting president," he says. "Indeed, even leading government officials, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have begun to direct their concerns to Suleiman's office. Hence, as the protesters in Tahrir Square - and the non-protesters facing empty refrigerators and wallets at home - have begun to feel the state's squeeze, the regime has so far maintained its ability to control how the conflict is unfolding."

1409The salary and pension hike will take effect in April for some six million workers, AP says. The cabinet is holding its first meeting since Egypt's unrest began two weeks ago.

1406Egypt's cabinet has decided to give government employees a 15% raise in wages and pensions, AP reports.

1346More on Egypt's struggling economy. Reuters is reporting that the central bank has reduced the size of a treasury bill offering today from 8bn to 7bn Egyptian pounds, amid signs of falling demand for the country's debt.

1343More from the BBC's Mark Gregory on Mr Mubarak's alleged fortune: He says that though reports of the family's wealth may have been exaggerated, it could "still be very rich. They're believed to own a string of properties in Manhattan, Beverley Hills, and London's upmarket Belgravia area. It is also reported that they have large cash deposits in banks in the UK and Switzerland. The family are said to have invested heavily in hotels and tourist businesses on the Red Sea. Mr Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, are also major figures in Egypt's business."

1340BBC business reporter Mark Gregory has been looking into the vast personal wealth that President Mubarak and his family are reported to have acquired during his three decades in power. He says it's is far from clear just how rich they really are: "ABC News has run a report suggesting the Mubarak family fortune is as high as $70bn. That figure has been picked up and repeated by news media around the world. But some analysts believe it's exaggerated. If the Mubaraks really are worth $70bn they would be as rich as the Mexican telecoms tycoon, Carlos Slim, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates combined. It seems unlikely the Mubaraks are quite in that league."

1334The curfew in Egypt has been shortened from 8pm-6am local time, sate media report. The curfew has recently been starting at 7pm.

1331Egypt's state and privately-owned TV channels are reporting that "life is back to normal" despite the continued protests. The programmes, which were interspersed with patriotic songs, said traffic had returned to the streets of the capital, and that most shops had reopened. They also repeatedly expressed support for the government's efforts to placate the protesters, and stressed the need for dialogue.

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1326 Ian Lee tweets: " Tahrir Square is like a city in a city. An interesting informal economy has taken root, albeit more expensive."

1322The unrest in Egypt has already had a severe impact on the country's economy, with an estimated cost of up to $300m a day. The Egyptian currency has hit its lowest level against the dollar for six years.

1315The stock exchange had originally been due to reopen today. This was then put back by 24 hours, before this latest delay. Authorities are clearly worried that the stock market will plummet if it opens too soon.

1311The opening of the stock exchange has now been put back to Sunday, Reuters reports.

1309Thanks for following events in Egypt with the BBC. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

1308In Egypt's second city of Alexandria, protesters are on the streets in smaller numbers, but say they plan larger rallies on Tuesday and Friday, the Reuters news agency reports. Most shops there have reopened. The situation in Suez is said to be similar.

1306A quick recap on how things stand: It's day 14 of mass demonstrations to demand the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, with protesters continuing to occupy Cairo's Tahrir Square. Though some people are going back to work, the stock exchange and schools are still shut. The government made some concessions during talks with the opposition at the weekend, but protesters say Mr Mubarak has to go before they return home.

1259A spokesman for the US state department has said he "presumed" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew of Mr Wisner's employment by Patton Boggs and of the firm's links with the Mubarak government. But he refused to comment on any conflict of interest.

1257 Nicholas Noe, editor of mideastwire.com , thinks the decision to send former US ambassador Frank Wisner to negotiate with Mr Mubarak last week on President Barack Obama's behalf was the result of a "terrible oversight" by the White House. Mr Noe tells the BBC World Service that as a paid adviser to the law firm, Patton Boggs, Mr Wisner is "one of the lead principals of a company that currently is representing the Egyptian government in multi-billion dollar endeavours... There is a clear conflict of interest."

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1252A further thought from Mennatallah Ali in Alexandria: "The Muslim Brothers may be more structured and a bit loud, but they are by no means the majority, and everyone knows they would never rule the country, it defies the purpose of the revolution in first place. Egypt has always been moderate and will remain so."

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1248Mennatallah Ali, from Alexandria, writes: "For the first time in decades the true feelings of Egyptians from all walks of life come to the light. For the first time everything is said out loud! We will never go back to how things were prior 25 January, we have found the way to freedom and will never let go."

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1246 Ben Wedeman from CNN tweets: "Heavy army, police presence outside Israeli embassy. Flag removed."

1243The Associated Press also reports that judicial officials have promised to start questioning on Tuesday the former ministers of tourism, housing and trade, and a senior NDP official who were accused of corruption after being dismissed by the president last week.

1241The Egyptian government has pledged to investigate official corruption and election fraud. The state-run Mena news agency said President Mubarak had ordered the country's parliament and the court of cassation on Monday to re-examine previous court rulings disqualifying hundreds of ruling party lawmakers for campaign and ballot irregularities, which were ignored by electoral officials. The ruling National Democratic Party won 83% of the 518 seats in the lower house of parliament in November's election.

1233Some touching quotes from a couple that got married in Tahrir Square on Sunday, carried by Reuters. "It was either we quit Tahrir to go and have our wedding in an isolated hall or hold a ceremony right here among our people protesting," said the bride, 22-year-old Ola Abdel Hamid. "These protesters are family now," said her husband, 29-year-old Ahmed Zaafan.

1224"We don't care who comes after Mubarak," says Amr Waked. "What we care about is a free system... And not have a pharaoh for a president. Every day that passes, the protesters get even more keen."

1222Egyptian actor and activist Amr Waked tells the BBC that despite any differences in opinion among protesters, they are being sustained by their unanimous desire to see Mr Mubarak resign.


1219More from the BBC's Jon Leyne: he raises the question of whether calls for Egyptians being able to return to normal life will put more pressure on the government or on the protesters.

1215The BBC's Jon Leyne says there are still lots of people in Tahrir Square. They are in good spirits, chanting away, and the square has become a sort of village with people selling tea and cigarettes, he reports. There is still a huge chunk of central Cairo that is out of action due to the protests.

1212Among the objects damaged during looting were two mummified skulls, a statue of King Tutankhamun, and a wooden sarcophagus from the New Kingdom period. Mr Hawass has said that no mummies were damaged.

1204The head of Egypt's antiquities, Zawi Hawass, is quoted by AP as saying that artifacts from the Egyptian Museum damaged during looting will be restored over the next five days. Mr Hawass also says steps are being taken to reopen the country's archaeological sites.

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1150Ramzy, from Cairo, writes: "The Muslim Brotherhood does not represent the majority of the population in Egypt. This time the revolution came from all people, young and old, Muslims and Christians, state and private sector employees, rich and poor."

1147Frank Wisner, the former US ambassador who was sent by the White House to negotiate with Hosni Mubarak, is employed by a New York and Washington law firm which works for the Egyptian government, according to the Independent . Patton Boggs says it advises the "Egyptian military, the Egyptian Economic Development Agency, and has handled arbitrations and litigation on the government's behalf in Europe and the US". It also represents leading Egyptian companies and families. On Saturday, Mr Wisner surprised US officials by saying: "President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical: it's his opportunity to write his own legacy." The US state department has said the comment was made in a "personal capacity".

1136 Abdel-Rahman Hussein tweets: "Army trying to starve and box in the #tahrir protesters, so orders r everything but shoot, fine, ppl won't back down"
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1135Rosemary Hollis, the professor of Middle East policy studies at London's City University, tells the BBC World Service that the US and Europe should tell Egyptian leaders "that there is no going back to how it used to be". She also says she does not accept the argument by Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party that certain procedures have to be followed for a transition of power to be successful. "You could jump over the procedures laid down in the constitution if you really wanted to. It's the transition period that is the dilemma for everybody, because the Americans would love it if Egypt was a democracy, if Saudi was a democracy, and if Syria was a democracy, provided they got past the stage of the virulent anti-American, anti-Israel element in those societies surfacing," she adds. "So they're now wishfully thinking that they can have a transition to democracy that somehow controls the results."

1129Egypt's Nile News is reporting that President Mubarak is chairing a meeting attended by the vice-president, the speaker of parliament, and the head of the Court of Cassation.

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1126Nadia Abdul-Sabur, from Alexandria, writes: "With the exception of a few international schools, all schools and colleges are closed. They were supposed to reopen on Sunday 13 February. Now we are not sure when they will reopen."

1120Perhaps to illustrate the government's belief that it has ridden out the storm, the state-owned al-Jumhuriya newspaper ran a banner headline on Monday saying "New Era", above a photo of Vice-President Omar Suleiman meeting the opposition while standing underneath a picture of President Mubarak.

1111 Matthew Cassel tweets: "Journalists now have to register with #Egypt's Ministry of Information if they wish to enter Tahrir -> not good"
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1108The Guardian is reporting that German newspapers are full of speculation that President Mubarak might seek exile in the country where he was treated in hospital last year. Ruprecht Polen, a senior politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, said the government would allow the 82 year old to return for treatment "if only for humanitarian reasons". The suggestion provoked an angry response from a leader of the opposition Green Party, Juergen Tritten. "Egyptians expect us to help them in their transition towards democracy. They certainly don't expect us to offer a fallen despot help in fleeing his country," he said.

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1103Karima El- Beleedy, from Cairo, writes: "The people of Egypt want their freedom, and they want it now. We have lost all trust in a system that makes promises and does not fulfill them."

1058Marwan Muasher, a deputy prime minister of Jordan who now works at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, tells the New York Times that he thinks Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman will take the lead in easing President Mubarak out. "I think Suleiman will try to do it in a soft way, if you want," he says. "If that doesn't work, I think there will come a time when he will be told bluntly."

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1052Emma Farid, from Cairo, writes: "I cannot comprehend what is going on now. The last week has been a mixture of emotion for me - seeing the Egypt I fell in love with destroyed."

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1044 Channel 4's international editor Lindsey Hilsum tweets: "Today is symbolic funeral for Egyptian journalist Ahmed Mahmud killed last week. #egypt"

1041Fawaz Gerges, a professor at the London School of Economics, tells the BBC: "The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood participated really tells me that there is some seriousness on the part of the government to listen to all opposition forces. The problem is that the opposition is not united. They have no unity of purpose, vision or any road-map. Not only are the opposition fragmented, but the protesters do not have a constituency or leadership. The people in Tahrir Square are young people from a bottom-up movement who do not have leaders. Even though the opposition is speaking to the government, the protesters do not feel they represent their wishes or aspirations. This plays into the hands of the government, whose fundamental goal is to keep the system in place."

1036The unprecedented meeting between the government and the opposition on Sunday quickly degenerated into war of words. Vice-President Umar Suleiman released a statement the talks declaring that they had produced a "consensus" about a path to reform, including the promise to form a committee to recommend constitutional changes by early March. But opposition leaders said Mr Suleiman's portrayal of the meeting was a political ploy intended to suggest that some of them were collaborating. "We did not come out with results," Mohammed Mursi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, told reporters. "The statement is insufficient." He did, however, say a second round of talks was expected within a few days.

1018Tahrir Square has taken on a carnival mood in the past few days as the anti-government demonstrators try to establish an enduring presence, according to the Associated Press. Two rows of men greet people at the main entrance, clapping as they enter, and chanting in the rhythms of a tradition Egyptian wedding procession. "We are becoming bigger!" they shout. "God is Great!" Inside the square, there are musicians and poets performing, and street vendors selling all manner of goods - from crisps to socks.

1011Hamdi, one of the protesters in central Cairo, tells the BBC that he has no plans to leave. "Those who are thinking that we will get tired of sitting in Tahrir square - we tell them that we are not leaving. [President Mubarak] has to leave."

0959Egyptian state television has blamed "extremist groups aiming to undermine security" for the attack on a police barracks in the town of Rafah, in the Sinai Peninsula, which left one policeman injured. On Saturday, there was an explosion near a gas pipeline in the al-Arish area of north Sinai.

0952The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says: "There's an active stand-off outside a forbidding government building on the edge of Tahrir Square, the Mugamma, where people go to get official paperwork processed. The government tried to reopen it by using a back entrance, but the protesters have formed a human chain to stop people entering. They are in a face-off with some soldiers, but the army has been instructed not to use force so it is resulting in deadlock - symptomatic of the whole country."

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0941Al-Jazeera reporter Ayman Mohyeldin has been released following his arrest on Sunday. He thanked those who offered their support in a tweet: "Safe & sound after being detained by the military Thanks 2 all for love/support Hope they Release all! Back 2 work Love Ayman #tahrir #jan25"

0926Hani Shukrallah, a member of the so-called "Committee of Wise Men' - a group of independent and mainstream opposition figures - tells the BBC World Service that the youth movements which helped organise the protests were in fact represented at the talks between the government and the opposition on Sunday. "[The government] talked to the leaders of the five youth movements, [but they] refused to go and instead they came and they had a meeting with us. They delegated the so-called "Committee of Wise Men" to talk on their behalf," he says.

0918Many people slept on or under the tracks of Egyptian army tanks deployed around Tahrir Square overnight in an attempt to stop them being used to disperse the protesters. They were also worried that they might leave the area and allow overnment supporters to return. Clashes between the rival groups last week left several people dead and hundreds wounded.

0906Egypt's government has made much of the effects of the unrest on the economy. Last week, it was estimated that the disruption was costing the country $310m a day. On Monday, the government is seeking to sell $2.53bn of short-term debt and many banks are reopening their doors to international transactions for the first time. But the stock exchange remains closed. Currency traders say pressure is also likely to grow on the Egyptian pound. "People are trying to get out," one London-based trader told the Reuters news agency.

0859Google's head of marketing for the Middle East, Wael Ghonim, who went missing in Egypt more than a week ago, is expected to be released by the authorities on Monday afternoon, a friend of his family and a prominent businessman say. On Sunday, telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawaris told state television that he had been promised that Mr Ghonim would be freed at 1600 (1400 GMT). Before his family lost contact with him on 28 January, Mr Ghonim posted several comments about the unrest on his Twitter page. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Google executive played a prominent role in the online activism which sparked the mass protests, including running a Facebook page urging support and setting up the official campaign website of the opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei.

0856Mr Springborg says the Obama administration has misread the situation up until this point. "When ambassador Frank Wisner went to Cairo [last Monday], the obvious thing for him to do was to try to restore the balance between the forces of oppression - the military and security services - and the newly emerged opposition political forces. He could have easily done that by visibly meeting both sides. By only meeting with the military, and then speaking of the need for the continuation of Mubarak in the presidency until September, they completely pulled the rug out from under the opposition."

0842Robert Springborg, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, tells the BBC that the Egyptian authorities have played the past few days extremely well. "They've ridden out the worst of the storm. They have delayed the negotiations because they did not want to negotiate under pressure. In the meantime, they've been intimidating the demonstrators and narrowing their base of support," he says. "Many Egyptians are increasingly worried about the state of their economy and the fate of the protesters. The military is restricting the space and taking the pressure of the government, so they negotiate from a position of strength."

0833Keen to get traffic moving around Tahrir Square, the army tried earlier to further reduce the area the anti-government protesters are occupying, according to the Reuters news agency. Many demonstrators rushed out of their tents to stop them. "The army is getting restless and so are the protesters. The army wants to squeeze us into a small circle in the middle of the square to get the traffic moving again," said Mohamed Shalaby.

0827The new Egyptian cabinet is expected to later hold its first full meeting since President Mubarak reshuffled it on 28 January in an attempt to placate the growing protest movement. It will be chaired by the new Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force chief and civil aviation minister, who has said it would not be practical for the president to go now.

0818At least one policeman has been injured after rocket-propelled grenades were fired at a police barracks in the town of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula, security sources say. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

0809The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says: "For the moment the talks between the government and the opposition do not seem to be going anywhere. There is a stalemate and there are two kinds of pillars to this: one of President Mubarak not going anywhere, and the other of the protesters not going anywhere. There is an illusion growing that normal life is returning to Cairo, but I can tell you it is not very normal. Yes, shops and banks are reopening to a limited extent, but I walked along one of the capital's main thoroughfares - the Corniche al-Nil - and outside the information ministry there are 18 pieces of heavy armour, including battle tanks. This is not a city that's going back to normal life any time soon."

0804The Egyptian government has postponed for 24 hours plans to reopen the stock exchange. There appears to be a degree of anxiety about what may happen when trading resumes. The police, including traffic officers, have returned to work and some banks have reopened. Schools, however, remain closed.

0756Many of the young people who have filled Tahrir Square since 25 January have complained that they were not even represented at the talks between the opposition and the government. "None of those who attended represent us," Khaled Abdul-Hamid, a leader of a new coalition representing several youth movements, told the Associated Press. "We are determined to press on until our number one demand is met," he said, referring to the president's resignation. But he added: "The regime is retreating. It is making more concessions every day."

0750The Muslim Brotherhood was among the opposition groups which took part in talks with the government on Sunday. Afterwards, the Brotherhood said the regime had not made any substantive concessions. Aside from Mr Mubarak's resignation, it wants the immediate end of the state of emergency, which has been in place since the president took power in 1981. The government has offered to lift it when security permits.

0748US President Barack Obama has said he believes that Egypt cannot go back to how it was before the uprising against President Mubarak, and that the time for change is now. Speaking to Fox News, Mr Obama said it was clear that Egyptians wanted free and fair elections. He also said the leading Islamist opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, was only one faction in Egypt, and that strains of their ideology were anti-American.

0745Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of events in Egypt. This is the 14th day of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 29-year-rule. Hundreds of people spent the night in Tahrir Square in central Cairo, following inconclusive talks between the government and opposition groups. The government offered some concessions, but the opposition leaders held firm on their main demand - Mr Mubarak's immediate resignation. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.




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